2014: Time to strengthen our community ties

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A new year, a new beginning. Of course, we have all heard that term again and again, but here in Johns Creek, 2014 takes on a very important meaning.

In the seven years since the city’s founding, we have done much that we all can be very proud of. Looking back, it seems at times amazing that so much was accomplished in such a relatively short period. I attribute much of our success to the community’s incredible support and patience as we worked to get it all right.

For 2014, I would like to put some ideas out there. I think it is important to start the community discussion on important topics so that when ccil sits down to take up a new topic, we have the feedback from our citizens and businesses about what they feel is best for Johns Creek.

My first order of business will of course be to welcome your new councilmembers, Cori Davenport and Lenny Zaprowski. I am very excited about their bringing a fresh perspective and taking a new look at what we have done so far.

One place I will be looking to our council, citizens and businesses for feedback will be in setting up a systematic review process for all our ordinances so we are sure that we are keeping up with the changing needs of our community. I will be taking a special interest in making Johns Creek a more business-friendly community and will continue to look to both the Johns Creek and the North Fulton Chambers to find ways to help encourage more business growth. I look forward to having Johns Creek Advantage join that conversation as well.

While strengthening our business community, I also want to be sure we look at using our ordinances to deal with the plague of illegal massage parlors in Johns Creek. We must, and we will, shut them down.

I look forward to working hard to strengthen relationships with our neighboring municipalities. One of my highest priorities will be working with our council and the city of Roswell in getting a much-needed safety improvement in place at Nesbitt Ferry and Brumbelow roads. I would like also to see us sit down with all our neighbors and continue to develop reasonable solutions to ease shared travel corridor traffic and safety concerns.

We have heard much this year from citizens and businesses who would like to stay better informed on the workings of our City Council. I know that with all our busy schedules, it can be difficult to attend a meeting in person, however in this day and age that should never preclude anyone’s right to know what is happening at our meetings. In response to numerous requests, I would like to have a dialogue with my fellow councilmembers about moving forward with video streaming and archiving of city meetings.

It is also my hope that in 2014, the stalled conversation on a city center can begin to move forward once again. I do not believe that our city should be required to build the city center, but I do believe that we can “paint the picture.” By bringing to life the greater community’s vision, we can encourage those who are genuinely anxious to invest in Johns Creek to join the discussion, so that together we can encourage the growth of a vibrant, attractive city center project that will become a true destination for locals and visitors alike.

All this and more will be on the docket for 2014, and as always, I am dependent on our citizens and businesses to provide important feedback on every issue. I ask that you stay involved and please don’t hesitate to reach me anytime at Mike.Bodker@johnscreekga.gov.

Meanwhile, on behalf of everyone at City Hall, I am delighted to wish you a blessed and prosperous new year.

Respectfully,

Mayor Mike Bodker